Research Scientist, Metrics, City Science

Cambridge, MA

1 week ago

Position Overview:

The City Science research group is enabling dynamic, evolving places that respond to the complexities of life. The group has research projects in a number of cities which make up the City Science network. Current cities include Andorra La Vella, Andorra, Hamburg, Germany, Shanghai, China, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Toronto, Canada, Guadalajara, Mexico, and Taipei, Taiwan. The team is also developing relationships and new collaborations including Cairo, Egypt. We seek a researcher who can play a lead role on one or more of these international projects. MIT researchers are developing evidence-based, data-driven urban design strategies as an alternative to the conventional practice of urban planning. Researchers are analyzing data from utility providers, telecommunications and other sources in order to better understand mobility patterns, tourist activities, and other features. Informed by this understanding, MIT researchers will develop, model, and prototype urban interventions that meet the project goals.

This is a one-year appointment with the possibility of extension based on the course of the research.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities (Essential Functions):

  • Develop a set of high-level metrics for resilient communities including: live-work harmony, net-zero commuting, local resources, new mobility, equity and affordability, and distributed systems.
  • Incorporate metrics into the CityScope platform to leverage the data and new tools enabled by the internet of things, machine learning, simulation, and computational capacity to offer insight into urban and human dynamics.
  • Lead collaborations with the City Science Network focused on aspects of a new process to enable more livable, equitable and resilient communities.
  • Conduct research and deploy new tools to understand, map and quantify the effects of rapid urbanization and informal development.
  • Conduct research, coordinate data gathering, analyze data, and deploy technologies in the areas of energy, mobility, innovation, housing, tourism, and urban planning.
  • Research and develop urban design strategies and algorithms for next-generation urban planning tools using data from utility providers, telecommunications and other sources.
  • Develop research protocols to deploy, test, validate, and refine strategies for community engagement and urban intervention using CityScope, a concept for shared, interactive computation for urban planning.
  • Coordinate the work of other researchers at MIT working on the project, and apply methodologies that were developed previously for other City Science projects, including the application of emerging simulation tools.
  • Collaborate closely with City Science research staff and students.
  • Coordinate with City Science researchers to install emerging simulation tools on CityScope.
  • Build collaborative research relationships with key leadership and serve as the liaison between City Science researchers and the cities where the tools are being deployed.
  • Support the principal investigator in academic coursework, teaching and staffing.
  • Assist in the design and implementation of curricula and courses as necessary, potential to lead seminars relevant to the candidate's expertise.
  • Assist Principal Investigator in hiring and development of staff and consultants related to research.
  • Prepare monthly project updates and coordinate team teleconference meetings.
  • Publish the research results and support the principal investigator on any developments related to urban mobility platforms within the City Science group.
  • Present demonstrations, presentations and public talks, as required.
  • Help to coordinate one or more one-week student workshops. Travel required related to research. Deals with confidential information and/or issues using discretion and judgment.

Qualifications & Skills:


  • MS degree in architecture and or urban planning or similar field.
  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience with academic research and teaching;
  • Experience and expertise in architecture and urban planning with an understanding of rapid urbanization.
  • Experience managing complex global collaborations and projects.
  • Experience and expertise with conducting research, collecting and analyzing complex data.
  • Skilled in 3D modeling, animation, and data visualization.


  • Interest in City Science research initiatives related to urban design, data analysis, mobility, and architecture.
  • Experience and expertise on issues important to Africa, the Middle East and/or the global south.
  • Speaks an additional language, i.e. to communicate with the City Science network countries.

To apply, go to and search for job ID#19776